‘Life on the edge of civilisation’: hiking in Croatia’s mountains

Its Adriatic coast is so dazzling that few venture into Croatia’s mountains but a short way inland are walks amid gorges and peaks that are just as spectacular – and characters with stories to tell

Motoring down the Croatian coast towards the city of Zadar, the road sweeps majestically south. To the right are necklaces of islands in a dazzling turquoise sea and sudden sweet coves with antique shuttered houses, their front porches shaded by vines, a fishing boat at the front door. This is the Croatia most visitors come to see. On the other side are mountains capped in threatening cloud. That is the Croatia most people do not bother with, the one I have been persuaded to try.

Related: A cycling tour of the Balkans: two wheels, three countries, four days

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